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Citizens' band radio
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Citizens' band radio

Citizens' band radio (CB) is a system of short distance radio communication between individuals on a selection of 40 channels within the single 27 MHz (11 meter) band. 27MHz FCC Bandplan

Formed following a decision in 1945 by the US government that its citizens should have this right, the CB radio service should not be confused with GMRS or Amateur Radio. CB does not require a license. The 11-meter band was taken from the Amateur Radio service for the Citizen's Band. But it was not until the 1970s, when technology had advanced to reduce costs, that the CB market prospered, US truckers being at the head of the boom. Many CB clubs were formed and a special CB language evolved.

Originally CB did require a license and the use of a call sign but during the CB craze of the 1970's many people ignored this requirement and used made up nicknames called "handles". The use of handles instead of call signs is related to the common practice of using the radios to warn other drivers of speed traps during the time when the United States dropped the national speed limit to 55 MPH. Eventually the license requirement was dropped. The early CB radios sold for mobile use in the US had only 23 channels and almost all were AM only although Single Side Band was also allowed. Later, an additional 17 channels were added for a total of 40 channels.

The FCC recommended the use of ten-codes and these were used, often in a shortened form, but also many slang terms were developed.

CB is still a popular hobby in many countries though its meaning as a method of communication has diminished recently, due to new developments such as the internet and mobile phones.

Popular CB Channels (United States)

In the US, CB radio seems to adhere to the following de facto plan:

International Use

Although CB was created in and for the United States it is also used in many different countries around the world. See also:
CB Radio In The UK

See also amateur radio